Hello family and friends of Tenacious crew!
TNS voyage 456 began yesterday when the new voyage crew joined the ship at Flamenco Marina on a little island outside Panama City. Well, the crew actually met two boats from Tenacious, because the ship herself is at anchor about a half mile outside the breakwater. An officer and assistant on each boat gave the new crew members their buoyancy aids (life vests) and took their dunnage (bags). The trip out to the ship was slow and steady in order not to splash too much sea water over the people and their belongings. This was perhaps frustrating for certain officers who love the speed of the little boats, but appreciated by the passengers who love the dryness of their faces. Instead of a gangway there was a rather more challenging vertical metal swimming ladder and two crew were hoisted onboard in a transit chair. The transit chair is hauled up by a human-powered crane, which was the first rope-pulling exercise of the voyage! And nobody died! An auspicious start, for certain!
After introductions by the permanent crew and volunteers and a not-brief safety briefing, cook Ali treated the crew to delicious chili on the deck in the warm evening air. The Great Waistline Expansion of 2016 has begun!
After breakfast on deck, those able and interested in climbing up the masts were fitted with a climbing harness. Navigator Rowan instructed the aft watches at the main mast with some great nuggets of experience like “don’t put any weight on a rope when you can’t see both ends are secure” and “the black grippy bits are for gripping”. Bosun Ben lectured the fore watches at the fore mast: “Great! Now that you’ve figured out the carabeener clip, stop playing with it or you’ll wear out the spring”.
Following an evacuation drill proving the crew’s ability to get a life vest on in less than 7 minutes, there were a few more of what veteran crewman Ted called “talky-talky bits”. Clearly the proper impression has been made and now the voyage crew are preparing for a last run ashore before we sail off our anchor and make for sea!